Exams and examination

There are different types of exams and examination methods. Here you get to know who they are and what the difference between them is.

Exams and examination
Exams and examination

There are different types of exams and examination methods. Here you get to know who they are and what the difference between them is. An exam (exam) is a test you take at the end of a course at a university. It can be written or oral. You get your exam back when the teacher has rated it.


An examination is when your teacher or an examiner tests your knowledge through an assignment or exam. The teacher or examiner grades your exam. You can not appeal the grade, however, you can ask the teacher to reconsider the grading decision. You also have the right to change examiner if you have failed twice on the same course or module.

An examination can look like many different things. Here we describe some of the more common forms of examination.


A written test of time. The information varies with the subject. They can be pure factual questions, investigative tasks where you have to reason about a question or a problem that needs to be solved.

Home exam

A written test to be done at home. The information in a home exam usually requires you to reason about a question. You must use the literature included in the course, but you may also use other sources.

Oral exam

You should meet a teacher and discuss the subject to be examined. The discussion usually takes a few hours. The teacher can demand answers to factual questions or ask you to reason about something. An oral exam can be done individually or in groups.


A task to be solved, individually or in groups.

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You may be asked to write a memo (memorandum) in which you reason about a topic. In other words it will be called an essay or paper.


The student must have completed and completed one or more tasks. Laboratory work almost always requires that you describe your work and results in a report of some kind. Laboratory work can also be group work.


The students are divided into groups, which have one or more tasks to solve together. However, the grades are set individually.


Essay writing is also used as an examination. Having written an essay at a certain level is at the same time a requirement for obtaining a certain degree. Essays are usually quite large works, which can take up to a semester to write.

You always have a supervisor (one of the teachers) to support the work on your thesis. The supervisor helps with advice and views on the reasoning and survey methods. When an essay is ready, it must be defended. It is called ventilation and means that at a seminar you should be able to receive views and answer questions about the essay. The questions are asked by one or more other students (opponents) who have been given the task of reviewing the essay.

How many re-examinations can you do?

The main rule is that you should in principle get as many attempts as you like to examine a course.

But the universities may limit the number of opportunities for certain courses if it would be unreasonably expensive to allow as many examinations as possible. In that case, the restriction must be stated in the syllabus.

The universities must also not limit as much as they like. If the examination is some kind of test, there must be at least five opportunities for re-examination. For internships and the like, you should always get at least two chances.

If you have not passed the exam at the exams given during one academic year, it may be that the course has changed and that you have to read new literature for a re-examination in another academic year.